- Health records also indicate that diseases such as bilharzias, malaria and HIV infections among other non-communicable diseases are rampant around the lake.
- Medics in the facility will also be doing follow-up in villages to enhance adherence to the medication they are undergoing.
Development Link Knowledge Africa organization has built a hospital to handle emergencies and diseases affecting fishermen and residents in Suba North constituency.
The Level 3 hospital built at Kisui village in Kasgunga ward, will enhance access to medical care by fishermen in Lake Victoria.
Suba North constituency has the longest shoreline of the lake and more islands in Homa Bay county.
Some of the islands are Rusinga, Mfangano, Kibuogi, Ringiti and Takawiri among others.
Most fishermen have been facing hard times in accessing medical care during emergency in the lake.
Health records also indicate that diseases such as bilharzias, malaria and HIV infections among other non-communicable diseases are rampant around the lake.
In Homa Bay, Suba North is among the constituencies with highest HIV prevalence due to socio-cultural behaviour.
Fisher folks Idah Akoth and Clement Owino said the health centre will accord them efficiency in acquiring health services.
“Many of us are no longer going to spend a lot on fare to access health services in other areas. The facility is a relief to us,” Akoth said.
Owino said the hospital will help them during emergencies. He argued that fishermen normally have difficulties in accessing hospitals when accidents occur during fishing expedition in the lake.
“We’re hopeful that fishermen will get all the necessary drugs,” he said.
DEVLINK executive director Esther Soti, Mbita Deputy County Commissioner Abraham Kemboi and the Subcounty Medical Officer of Health Sam Oyuga said the facility will help women during delivery.
Soti said the hospital has been established at the shore of Lake Victoria to enable fishermen to get health services.
She said it will help fisher folk to seek medication at early stages and avoid risks of death in case they are affected by any disease.
“Records reveal that many fishermen have poor health seeking behaviour when they are sick but this puts their lives at risk. We are targeting fishermen by sensitising them to seek health services,” Soti said.
Speaking on Friday during the opening of the facility, Soti said they will focus more on fighting HIV through prevention of mother to child transmission.
The health facility will put all possible measures to stop the tradition in which expectant mothers deliver at home and control spread of HIV from a mother to child.
“Modalities are in place to ensure mothers deliver in health facilities. We’re working with community health workers to reduce cases of traditional birth attendance,” she said.
Medics in the facility will also be doing follow-up in villages to enhance adherence to the medication they are undergoing.
According to Oyuga, the health facility will reduce the spread of many diseases in the area.
“The high prevalence of HIV and other diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and bilharzias will reduce with such kind of concerted efforts,” Oyuga said.
Kemboi said the facility will augment the national government’s efforts of improving healthcare to citizens.
“Dealing in health care of women and children is very important,” Kemboi said.